Mackenzie Pitt has been cheering since she was in seventh grade. This may not seem like long when so many other cheerleaders do the exact same thing, but she has been doing it despite having issues with her hearing.

When Pitt was only 15 months old, she had a cochlear implant at Vanderbilt. Last year, just four days before Thanksgiving, the device started to fail after 15 years and she became deaf once more.

Before her surgery in December, she wanted to cheer the last home basketball games even though she knew she would not be able to hear a single sound. She could not hear the team, the cheerleaders, the fans, the buzzer, the coaches or anything around her. She was able to do this and did not miss the game. On Dec. 17, she went back to Vanderbilt and was reimplanted.

She is in her junior year now and continues to love cheer. She doesn't talk much about her medical issue, but prefers to talk about cheerleading.

“I have a passion for cheerleading and I just love it so much,” she said. “It is fun for me.”

Her favorite part is cheering in front of everybody and cheering in general. She is excited about getting to do it all over again and watching the games this fall.

She loves cheer camp and was excited about her accomplishments at the camp. She has made All-American Cheerleader for four years in a row at UCA cheer camp. This year she also won the jump-off competition at their camp in UAB.

Her mother, Gina, says that “she is truly an inspiration and we are truly blessed that God gave her the ability to hear... not once ... but twice.”

The family moved here from Tennessee when Mackenzie was three-years-old. The family is truly grateful for everyone that has helped them along the way especially Claysville, DAR, and all the Marshall County staff, teachers and coaches that have helped her so much along the way.

Pitt said, “I can’t wait to get out on the field and cheer for the team and fans!”

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